Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Redman, John

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REDMAN, JOHN (1499–1551), master of Trinity College, Cambridge, was born in 1499. He was probably related to the Redmans of Levens and Harewood [see Redman, Richard], and Cuthbert Tunstal [q. v.], by whose advice he devoted himself to study, was a kinsman. He was for some time at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, then at Paris till about 1520, and then at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he became B.A. 1525–6 and M.A. in 1530. He was made fellow on 3 Nov. 1530, proceeded B.D. in 1534, and D.D. in 1537. He became one of the king's chaplains, was public orator of the university 1537, Lady Margaret professor 27 Dec. 1538 to 1544, and again 12 July 1549. He was reputed to be a good Greek scholar, and in ecclesiastical politics held somewhat the same views as Henry VIII. Hence he found no difficulty, on 9 July 1540, in signing the decree declaring the marriage of Henry and Anne of Cleves invalid. He was also on the commission which drew up ‘The necessary Doctrine and Erudition of a Christian Man.’ In 1540 he became prebendary of Westminster and Wells, and on 13 Nov. 1540 was made archdeacon of Stafford. He resigned this archdeaconry in 1547, when he was transferred to that of Taunton. On 17 Dec. 1540 he became canon of Westminster. In 1542 he was a member of the committee of convocation, which was designed to undertake a new version of the Bible, but whose labours were abruptly terminated by the order of the king. From 1542 to 1546 he was master of the King's Hall at Cambridge, and on 19 Dec. 1546 was made first master of Trinity College. On 16 Jan. 1545–6 Redman and Parker were appointed commissioners to survey the property of colleges. In sermons which he preached before Edward VI in the Lent of 1547–8 he was said to have maintained the doctrine of the real presence. None the less he was allowed, on 8 April 1548, to add the rectory of Calverton, Buckinghamshire, to his other preferments. He preached at Bucer's funeral, and wrote an epitaph on him. Redman was on the Windsor commission of 1548 which drew up the order of communion, but, being of Gardiner's way of thinking, he did not altogether approve of the result. He was also on the heresy commission of 1549. When commissioners came to Cambridge the same year Redman hung back for a time, not liking the terms of subscription; when, however, the commissioners allowed his interpretation of certain articles, he consented to subscribe. He was a witness at Gardiner's trial, but, being ill at Cambridge, his evidence was taken by commission there early in 1550–1. He was dying of consumption, and officious protestants crowded round his deathbed to try and get some declaration of his religious beliefs. An account of these transactions, called ‘A Report of Master Doctor Redman's Answers,’ &c., was printed, London, 1551; a copy is in the library at Cambridge. Young, writing to Cheke, said that to some it had seemed as though Redman had changed from ‘softness, fear, or lack of stomach;’ but the truth seems rather to be that he had not changed at all, and that he died much as he had lived, a divine whose position was fixed by the six articles. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Redman wrote:

  1. ‘Opus de Justificatione,’ with which was printed ‘Hymnus in quo peccator justificationem quærens rudi imagine describitur,’ Antwerp, 1555, 4to.
  2. ‘De Gratia,’ translated by T. Smyth as ‘The Complaint of Grace,’ London, 1556, 8vo.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 107, 542; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 193; Dixon's Hist. of the Church of England, ii. 234, 286, 304, 306, 493, iii. passim; Foxe's Acts and Mon. v. 600, vi. 126 sq., vii. 453 sq., viii. 273; Welch's Alumni West. p. 4; Zurich Letters, iii. 150, 151, 264, 492; Ridley's Works, ii. 316; Ascham's Epistolæ, passim; Jewel's Works, iii. 127; Parker's Corresp. pp. 34, 38; Latimer's Works, ii. 297; Nowell's Works, i. (Parker Soc.).]

W. A. J. A.